Christian Democracy (Italy)
Overview
 
Christian Democracy was a Christian democratic
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 party in Italy. It was founded in 1943 as the ideological successor of the historical Italian People's Party, which had the same symbol, a crossed shield (scudo crociato).

The DC, a catch-all party
Big tent
In politics, a big tent party or catch-all party is a political party seeking to attract people with diverse viewpoints. The party does not require adherence to some ideology as a criterion for membership...

 comprising both right-wing
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 and left-wing
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 factions, dominated the politics of Italy
Politics of Italy
The politics of Italy is conducted through a parliamentary, democratic republic with a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised collectively by the Council of Ministers, which is led by the President of the Council of Ministers, referred to as "Presidente del Consiglio" in Italian...

 for almost 50 years from 1944 until its demise amid a welter of corruption allegations in 1992–1994.

It was succeeded by several parties, including the Italian People's Party, the Christian Democratic Centre, the United Christian Democrats
United Christian Democrats
The United Christian Democrats was a Christian democratic party in Italy.-History:It began in 1995 by a split of those members of the Italian People's Party who wanted to enter into an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia...

 and the current Union of Christian and Centre Democrats.
Encyclopedia
Christian Democracy was a Christian democratic
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 party in Italy. It was founded in 1943 as the ideological successor of the historical Italian People's Party, which had the same symbol, a crossed shield (scudo crociato).

The DC, a catch-all party
Big tent
In politics, a big tent party or catch-all party is a political party seeking to attract people with diverse viewpoints. The party does not require adherence to some ideology as a criterion for membership...

 comprising both right-wing
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 and left-wing
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 factions, dominated the politics of Italy
Politics of Italy
The politics of Italy is conducted through a parliamentary, democratic republic with a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised collectively by the Council of Ministers, which is led by the President of the Council of Ministers, referred to as "Presidente del Consiglio" in Italian...

 for almost 50 years from 1944 until its demise amid a welter of corruption allegations in 1992–1994.

It was succeeded by several parties, including the Italian People's Party, the Christian Democratic Centre, the United Christian Democrats
United Christian Democrats
The United Christian Democrats was a Christian democratic party in Italy.-History:It began in 1995 by a split of those members of the Italian People's Party who wanted to enter into an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia...

 and the current Union of Christian and Centre Democrats. However, most former Christian Democrats are now affiliated to the centre-right The People of Freedom
The People of Freedom
The People of Freedom is a centre-right political party in Italy. With the Democratic Party, it is one of the two major parties of the current Italian party system....

 and the centre-left Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Italy)
The Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Italy, that is the second-largest in the country. The party is led by Pier Luigi Bersani, who was elected in the 2009 leadership election....

.

Early years

The party was founded as the revival of the tradition of the Italian People's Party (PPI), a political party created in 1919 by Luigi Sturzo
Luigi Sturzo
Don Luigi Sturzo was an Italian Catholic priest and politician. Known in his lifetime as a "clerical socialist," Sturzo is considered one of the fathers of Christian democracy. Sturzo was one of the founders of the Partito Popolare Italiano in 1919, but was forced into exile in 1924 with the rise...

, a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 priest. The PPI won over 20% of the votes in the 1919
Italian general election, 1919
The Italian general election of 1919, the first after World War I and the electoral reform that introduced proportional representation, took place on 16 November 1919....

 and 1921 elections
Italian general election, 1921
The Italian general election of 1921 took place on 15 May 1921.The Liberal governing coalition, strengthened by the joining of Fascist candidates in the "National Blocs" , came short of a majority...

, but was declared illegal by the Fascist
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 regime in 1925 despite the presence of some Popolari in Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's first government.

As World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 was ending, the Christian Democrats started organizing post-Fascist Italy in coalition with all the other mainstream parties, including the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

 (PCI), the Italian Socialist Party
Italian Socialist Party
The Italian Socialist Party was a socialist and later social-democratic political party in Italy founded in Genoa in 1892.Once the dominant leftist party in Italy, it was eclipsed in status by the Italian Communist Party following World War II...

 (PSI), the Italian Liberal Party
Italian Liberal Party
The Italian Liberal Party was a liberal political party in Italy.-Origins:The origins of liberalism in Italy came from the so-called "Historical Right", a parliamentary group formed by Camillo Benso di Cavour in the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia following the 1848 revolution...

 (PLI), the Italian Republican Party
Italian Republican Party
The Italian Republican Party is a liberal political party in Italy.The PRI is party with old roots that originally took a left-wing position, claiming descent from the political position of Giuseppe Mazzini...

 (PRI), the Action Party (Pd'A) and the Labour Democratic Party
Labour Democratic Party
The Labour Democratic Party was a social-liberal political party in Italy, founded in 1943 as the heir of defunct Italian Social Democratic Party, formed by those Socialists who wanted to cooperate with the Liberal political guard which governed Italy from the days of Giovanni Giolitti...

 (PDL). In December 1945 Christian Democrat Alcide De Gasperi
Alcide De Gasperi
Alcide De Gasperi was an Italian statesman and politician and founder of the Christian Democratic Party. From 1945 to 1953 he was the prime minister of eight successive coalition governments. His eight-year rule remains a landmark of political longevity for a leader in modern Italian politics...

 was appointed Prime Minister of Italy
Prime minister of Italy
The Prime Minister of Italy is the head of government of the Italian Republic...

.

In the 1946 general election
Italian general election, 1946
The Italian general election of 2 June 1946 was the first Italian election after World War II and elected 556 deputies to a Constituent Assembly...

, the first after World War II, the DC won 35.2% of the vote. Breaking decisively with its Communist and Socialist coalition partners under pressure from Harry Truman in May 1947, the party went on to win a decisive victory in 1948 general election
Italian general election, 1948
The Italian elections of 1948 were the second democratic elections with universal suffrage ever held in Italy, taking place after the 1946 elections to the Constituent Assembly, responsible for drawing up a new Italian Constitution...

 with the support of the Catholic Church and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. On that occasion the party won 48.5% of the vote, but, despite its absolute majority in the Italian Parliament, De Gasperi continued to govern at the head of a centrist coalition that included the Italian Workers' Socialist Party
Italian Democratic Socialist Party
The Italian Democratic Socialist Party is a minor social-democratic political party in Italy. Mimmo Magistro is the party leader. The PSDI, before the 1990s decline in votes and members, had been an important force in Italian politics, being the longest serving partner in government for Christian...

 (PSLI - a 1947 break-away from the PSI), the Liberals and the Republicans.

De Gasperi to Moro

From 1946 until 1994 the DC was the largest party in Parliament, governing in successive coalitions with the support of the Italian Democratic Socialist Party
Italian Democratic Socialist Party
The Italian Democratic Socialist Party is a minor social-democratic political party in Italy. Mimmo Magistro is the party leader. The PSDI, before the 1990s decline in votes and members, had been an important force in Italian politics, being the longest serving partner in government for Christian...

 (PSDI), the PLI, the PRI and, after 1963, the PSI. Basing its electoral majority largely on the Catholic countryside, the party originally supported governments based on liberal-conservative political positions, then to move into centre-left
Centre-left
Centre-left is a political term that describes individuals, political parties or organisations such as think tanks whose ideology lies between the centre and the left on the left-right spectrum...

 coalitions by European standards, despite some disbandaments to the right, such as the short-lived government led by Fernando Tambroni
Fernando Tambroni
Fernando Tambroni Armaroli was an Italian politician of the Christian Democratic Party. He was a lawyer, a prominent supporter of law and order policies, and for a brief time in 1960, the 37th Prime Minister of Italy...

 in 1960, relying on parliamentary support from the Italian Social Movement
Italian Social Movement
The Italian Social Movement , and later the Italian Social Movement–National Right , was a neo-fascist and post-fascist political party in Italy. Formed in 1946 by supporters of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the party became the fourth largest party in Italy by the early 1960s...

, the post-Fascist party.

The party's share of vote was always between 38 and 43% from 1953
Italian general election, 1953
The Italian elections of 1953 were held on June 7. They were a test for leading centrist coalition ruled by Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi. Italian electors chose the second Parliament of the Italian Republic.-The Scam Law:...

 to 1979
Italian general election, 1979
The Italian election of 1979 was held on June 3. The eighth Parliament of republican Italy was selected. This election was called just a week before the European vote: the lack of matching between the two elections caused much controversy for wasting public money.Terroristic attacks by the Red...

. From 1954 the party was led by progressive Christian Democrats, such as Amintore Fanfani
Amintore Fanfani
Amintore Fanfani was an Italian career politician and the 33rd man to serve the office of Prime Minister of the State. He was one of the well-known Italian politicians after the Second World War, and a historical figure of the Christian Democracy .Fanfani and Giovanni Giolitti are still actually...

, Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro was an Italian politician and the 39th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976. He was one of Italy's longest-serving post-war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years....

 and Benigno Zaccagnini
Benigno Zaccagnini
Benigno Zaccagnini was an Italian politician and physician.-Political career:Zaccagnini was among the founders of the Democrazia Cristiana , and was elected at the Constituent Assembly and the Chamber of Deputies of the new-born Italian Republic...

, supported by the influential left-wing factions. Coalitions with the PSI became usual after the first centre-left government led by Moro in 1963 which saw the participation of the Socialists in key ministerial posts.

In 1978 the party was struck by the abduction and murder of Aldo Moro
Kidnapping of Aldo Moro
The kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro was a seminal event in Italian political history.On the morning of 16 March 1978, the day in which the new cabinet led by Giulio Andreotti would undergo the confidence vote at the Italian Parliament, the car of Aldo Moro, former prime minister and then...

, who had proposed a Historic Compromise
Historic Compromise
In Italian history, the Historic Compromise was an accommodation between the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communist Party in the 1970s, after the latter embraced eurocommunism under Enrico Berlinguer. The 1978 assassination of DC leader Aldo Moro put an end to the Compromesso storico...

 with the PCI, by the Red Brigades
Red Brigades
The Red Brigades was a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organisation, based in Italy, which was responsible for numerous violent incidents, assassinations, and robberies during the so-called "Years of Lead"...

. When Moro was abducted, the government, at the time led by Giulio Andreotti
Giulio Andreotti
Giulio Andreotti is an Italian politician of the now dissolved centrist Christian Democracy party. He served as the 42nd Prime Minister of Italy from 1972 to 1973, from 1976 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1992. He also served as Minister of the Interior , Defense Minister and Foreign Minister and he...

, immediately took a hardline position stating that the "State must not bend" on terrorist demands. This was a very different position from the one kept in similar cases (such as the kidnapping of Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

n DC member Ciro Cirillo a few years later, for whom a ransom was paid, thanks to the local ties of the party with camorra
Camorra
The Camorra is a Mafia-type criminal organization, or secret society, originating in the region of Campania and its capital Naples in Italy. It is one of the oldest and largest criminal organizations in Italy, dating to the 18th century.-Background:...

) before. It was however supported by all the mainstream parties, including the PCI, with the two notable exceptions of the PSI and the Radicals. In the second trial for mafia allegations against Giulio Andreotti, leader of the right wing of the party, it was said that he took the chance of getting rid of a dangerous political competitor by sabotaging all of the rescue options and ultimately leaving the captors with no option but killing him. During his captivity Moro wrote a series of letters, at times very critical of Andreotti. Later the memorial written by Moro during his imprisonment was subject to several plots, including the assassination of journalist Mino Pecorelli and general Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa
Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa
Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa was a general of the Italian carabinieri notable for campaigning against terrorism during the 1970s in Italy, and later assassinated by the Mafia in Palermo.-Biography:...

, which involved Andreotti and some figures of his wing.

The Pentapartito

At the beginning of the 1980s the DC had lost part of its stranglehold over Italian voters. In 1981 Giovanni Spadolini
Giovanni Spadolini
Giovanni Spadolini was a liberal Italian politician, the 45th Prime Minister of Italy, newspaper editor, journalist and a noted historian.-Biography:Spadolini was born in Florence....

 of the PRI was the first non-Christian Democrat to lead a government since 1944, at the head of a coalition comprising the DC, the PSI, the PSDI, the PRI and the PLI, the so-called Pentapartito. In the successive 1983 general election
Italian general election, 1983
The Italian election of 1983 was held on June 26. The ninth Parliament of republican Italy was selected.The Pentaparty formula, the governative alliance between five centrist parties, caused unexpected problems to the Christian Democracy. The alliance was fixed and universal, extended both to the...

 DC suffered one of its largest declines in terms of votes at that point, receiving only 32.5% of the vote cast (-5.8%). Subsequently Bettino Craxi
Bettino Craxi
Benedetto Craxi was an Italian politician, head of the Italian Socialist Party from 1976 to 1993, the first socialist President of the Council of Ministers of Italy from 1983 to 1987.-Political career:...

 (leader of the rising PSI) reclaimed for himself the post of Prime Minister, again at the head of a Pentapartito government.

DC re-gained the post of Prime Minister in 1987, after a mild recovery in the 1987 general election
Italian general election, 1987
The Italian election of 1987 was held on June 14. Italian citizens chose the tenth Parliament of the Italian Republic.This election marked the final inversion of the trend of the entire republican history of Italy: for the first time, the distance between the Christian Democrats and the Communists...

 (34.2%), and the Pentapartito coalition governed Italy almost continuously until 1993. While Italy experienced continuous economic progress in the 1980s, the Italian economy was being undermined by constant devaluation of the Italian lira
Italian lira
The lira was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002. Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was officially a “national subunit” of the euro...

 and the issuing of excessive amounts of high-interest treasury bonds, so that, between 1982 and 1992, the excessive budget deficit build half of the deficit still plaguing the country today.

Dissolution

In 1992 an investigation was started in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, dubbed Mani pulite
Mani pulite
Mani pulite was a nationwide Italian judicial investigation into political corruption held in the 1990s. Mani pulite led to the demise of the so-called First Republic, resulting in the disappearance of many parties. Some politicians and industry leaders committed suicide after their crimes were...

. It uncovered endemic corruption practices at the highest levels, causing many spectacular (and sometimes controversial) arrests and resignations. After the dismaying result in the 1992 general election
Italian general election, 1992
The Italian general elections of 1992 were held on the 5 April 1992.The 1992 elections were the first without the traditionally second most important political force in Italy, the Italian Communist Party , which had been disbanded in 1991...

 (29.7%) and two years of mounting scandals (which included several Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 investigations that touched notably Andreotti), the party was disbanded in 1994. In the 1990s most of the politicians prosecuted during those investigations were acquitted, sometimes however on the basis of legal formalities or on the basis of statutory time limit
Statute of limitations
A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated...

 rules.

In January 1994 the last DC secretary Mino Martinazzoli decided to change the name of the party, which had suffered many defeats in 1993 provincial and municipal elections, to the Italian People's Party. Pier Ferdinando Casini
Pier Ferdinando Casini
Pier Ferdinando Casini is an Italian politician.-Biography:President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies from 2001 to 2006...

, representing the centre-right faction of the party (previously led by Forlani) decided to launch a new party called Christian Democratic Centre and to form an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

's new party, Forza Italia
Forza Italia
Forza Italia was a liberal-conservative, Christian democratic, and liberal political party in Italy, with a large social democratic minority, that was led by Silvio Berlusconi, four times Prime Minister of Italy....

. The left wing faction either joined the Democratic Party of the Left
Democratic Party of the Left
The Democratic Party of the Left was a post-communist, democratic socialist political party in Italy.-History:...

 or stayed within the new Italian People's Party, while some right-wingers others joined National Alliance
National Alliance (Italy)
National Alliance was a conservative political party in Italy.Gianfranco Fini was the leader of the party since its foundation in 1995, however he stepped down in 2008 after being elected to the nominally non-partisan post of President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and was succeeded by...

, however in 1994–2000 most Christian Democrats joined Forza Italia, which would have become the party with more ex-DC members in absolute terms.

Ideology

The party's ideological sources were principally to be found in Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of poverty and wealth, economics, social organization and the role of the state...

, the Christian democratic
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 doctrines developed from the 19th century and on (see Christian democracy
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

), the political thought of Romolo Murri
Romolo Murri
Romolo Murri was an Italian politician and ecclesiastic. This Catholic priest was suspended for having joined the party Lega Democratica Nazionale and who is widely considered in Italy as the precursor of Christian democracy.In 1894 was a promoter of the FUCI, in 1901 of Democrazia cristiana...

 and Luigi Sturzo
Luigi Sturzo
Don Luigi Sturzo was an Italian Catholic priest and politician. Known in his lifetime as a "clerical socialist," Sturzo is considered one of the fathers of Christian democracy. Sturzo was one of the founders of the Partito Popolare Italiano in 1919, but was forced into exile in 1924 with the rise...

 and ultimately in the tradition of the defunct Italian People's Party. Two Papal encyclical
Encyclical
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop...

s, Rerum Novarum
Rerum Novarum
Rerum Novarum is an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891. It was an open letter, passed to all Catholic bishops, that addressed the condition of the working classes. The encyclical is entitled: “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labour”...

(1891) of Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

, and Quadragesimo Anno
Quadragesimo Anno
Quadragesimo Anno is an encyclical written by Pope Pius XI, issued 15 May 1931, 40 years after Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum. Unlike Leo XIII, who addressed the condition of workers, Pius XI discusses the ethical implications of the social and economic order...

(1931) of Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI , born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was Pope from 6 February 1922, and sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929 until his death on 10 February 1939...

, offered a basis for social and political doctrine.

In economy
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 the DC preferred competition
Competition
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two and only two strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For...

 to cooperation
Cooperation
Cooperation or co-operation is the process of working or acting together. In its simplest form it involves things working in harmony, side by side, while in its more complicated forms, it can involve something as complex as the inner workings of a human being or even the social patterns of a...

, supported the model of social market economy
Social market economy
The social market economy is the main economic model used in West Germany after World War II. It is based on the economic philosophy of Ordoliberalism from the Freiburg School...

 and rejected the Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

's idea of class struggle
Class struggle
Class struggle is the active expression of a class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote "The [written] history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"....

. The party thus advocated collaboration between social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

es and was basically a catch-all party
Big tent
In politics, a big tent party or catch-all party is a political party seeking to attract people with diverse viewpoints. The party does not require adherence to some ideology as a criterion for membership...

 which aimed to represent all Italian Catholics, both right-wing and left-wing, under the principle of the "political unity of Catholics" against socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. It ultimately represented the majority of Italians who were opposed to the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

. The party was however originally equidistant between the Communists and the hard right represented by the Italian Social Movement
Italian Social Movement
The Italian Social Movement , and later the Italian Social Movement–National Right , was a neo-fascist and post-fascist political party in Italy. Formed in 1946 by supporters of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the party became the fourth largest party in Italy by the early 1960s...

.

As a catch-all party, the DC differed from other European Christian Democratic parties, such as the German Christian Democratic Union
Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

 that were mainly conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 parties, with DC comprising conservative as well as social-democratic
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 and liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 elements. The party was thus divided in many factions and party life was characterised by factionalism and by the double adherence of members to the party and the factions, often identified with individual leaders.

Factions

The original centrist
Centrism
In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that lie different from the standard political left and political right. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of left-right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between...

 and liberal-conservative
Liberal conservatism
Liberal conservatism also known as progressive conservatism is a variant of political conservatism which incorporates liberal elements. As "conservatism" and "liberalism" have had different meanings over time and across countries, the term "liberal conservatism" has been used in quite different...

 leadership of Alcide De Gasperi
Alcide De Gasperi
Alcide De Gasperi was an Italian statesman and politician and founder of the Christian Democratic Party. From 1945 to 1953 he was the prime minister of eight successive coalition governments. His eight-year rule remains a landmark of political longevity for a leader in modern Italian politics...

, Giuseppe Pella
Giuseppe Pella
Giuseppe Pella was an Italian Christian Democratic politician who served as the 32nd Prime Minister of Italy from 1953 to 1954. He was also President of the European Parliament from 1954 to 1956 after the death of Alcide De Gasperi.He was born in Valdengo, Piedmont...

, Ezio Vanoni and Mario Scelba
Mario Scelba
Mario Scelba was an Italian Christian Democratic politician who served as the 34th Prime Minister of Italy from February 1954 to July 1955...

, was soon replaced by the progressives led by Amintore Fanfani
Amintore Fanfani
Amintore Fanfani was an Italian career politician and the 33rd man to serve the office of Prime Minister of the State. He was one of the well-known Italian politicians after the Second World War, and a historical figure of the Christian Democracy .Fanfani and Giovanni Giolitti are still actually...

. They were opposed to a right wing whose main leader was Antonio Segni
Antonio Segni
Antonio Segni was an Italian politician who was the 35th Prime Minister of Italy , and the fourth President of the Italian Republic from 1962 to 1964...

. The party's left wing, with its roots in the left of the late Italian People's Party (Giovanni Gronchi
Giovanni Gronchi
Giovanni Gronchi was a Christian Democratic Italian politician who became the third President of the Italian Republic in 1955, after Luigi Einaudi...

, Achille Grandi and controversial Fernando Tambroni
Fernando Tambroni
Fernando Tambroni Armaroli was an Italian politician of the Christian Democratic Party. He was a lawyer, a prominent supporter of law and order policies, and for a brief time in 1960, the 37th Prime Minister of Italy...

), was reinforced by new leaders such as Giuseppe Dossetti
Giuseppe Dossetti
Giuseppe Dossetti was an Italian jurist, a politician and from 1958 onward a Catholic priest.- The antifascist and politician :Dossetti was born in Genoa....

, Giorgio La Pira
Giorgio La Pira
Giorgio La Pira was an Italian politician who served as mayor of Florence twice . He also served as deputy of the Christian Democratic Party and participated in the assembly that wrote the Constitution of Italy after World War II...

, Giuseppe Lazzati and Fanfani himself. Most of them were social democrats by European standards.

The party was often led by centrist figures unaffiliated to any faction such as Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro was an Italian politician and the 39th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976. He was one of Italy's longest-serving post-war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years....

, Mariano Rumor
Mariano Rumor
Mariano Rumor was an Italian politician, a member of the Democrazia Cristiana and the 40th Prime Minister of Italy.He was born in Vicenza, Veneto...

 (both closer to the centre-left) and Giulio Andreotti
Giulio Andreotti
Giulio Andreotti is an Italian politician of the now dissolved centrist Christian Democracy party. He served as the 42nd Prime Minister of Italy from 1972 to 1973, from 1976 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1992. He also served as Minister of the Interior , Defense Minister and Foreign Minister and he...

 (closer to the centre-right). Moreover often, if the government was led by a centre-right Christian Democrat, the party was led by a left-winger and viceversa. This was what happened in the 1950s when Fanfani was party secretary and the government was led by centre-right figures such as Scelba and Segni and in the late 1970s when Benigno Zaccagnini
Benigno Zaccagnini
Benigno Zaccagnini was an Italian politician and physician.-Political career:Zaccagnini was among the founders of the Democrazia Cristiana , and was elected at the Constituent Assembly and the Chamber of Deputies of the new-born Italian Republic...

, a progressive, led the party and Andreotti the government: this custom, in clear contrast with the principles of a Westminster system
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

, deeply weakened the office of the Prime Minister
Prime minister of Italy
The Prime Minister of Italy is the head of government of the Italian Republic...

, turning the Italian political system into a particracy
Particracy
Particracy is a de facto form of government where one or more political parties dominate the political process, rather than citizens and/or individual politicians.-Rationale and types:...

 (partitocrazia).

From the 1980s until 1992 the party was divided between the centre-right led by Arnaldo Forlani
Arnaldo Forlani
This article is about the Italian legislator. For the similar name used as an alias by terrorist Ramzi Yousef for Philippine Airlines Flight 434, see Ramzi Yousef....

 (supported also by the party's right-wing) and the centre-left led by Ciriaco De Mita
Ciriaco de Mita
Ciriaco Luigi de Mita is an Italian politician. He served as the 47th Prime Minister of Italy from 1988 to 1989 and is currently Member of the European Parliament.-Biography:De Mita was born in Nusco, in the Avellinese hinterland....

 (whose supporters included trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

ists and the internal left), with Andreotti holding the balance. De Mita, who led the party from 1982 to 1989, curiously tried to transform the party into a mainstream "conservative party" in line with the European People's Party
European People's Party
The European People's Party is a pro-European centre-right European political party. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives.The EPP is the most influential of...

 in order to preserve party unity. He was replaced by Forlani in 1989, after that he had become Prime Minister in 1988. The disagreements between De Mita and Forlani resulted in a return of Andreotti as Prime Minister from 1989 to 1992.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

, the end of great ideologies and ultimately the Tangentopoli
Tangentopoli
Tangentopoli is a term which was coined to describe pervasive corruption in the Italian political system exposed in the 1992-6 Mani Pulite investigations, as well as the resulting scandal, which led to the collapse of the hitherto dominant Christian Democracy party and its allies.-Popular distrust...

scandals, the heterogeneous nature of the party led it to its collapse. The bulk of the DC joined the new Italian People's Party (PPI), but immediately several centre-right elements led by Pier Ferdinando Casini
Pier Ferdinando Casini
Pier Ferdinando Casini is an Italian politician.-Biography:President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies from 2001 to 2006...

 joined the Christian Democratic Centre (CCD), while others directly joined Forza Italia
Forza Italia
Forza Italia was a liberal-conservative, Christian democratic, and liberal political party in Italy, with a large social democratic minority, that was led by Silvio Berlusconi, four times Prime Minister of Italy....

. A split from the PPI, the United Christian Democrats
United Christian Democrats
The United Christian Democrats was a Christian democratic party in Italy.-History:It began in 1995 by a split of those members of the Italian People's Party who wanted to enter into an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia...

 (CDU), joined Forza Italia and the CCD in the centre-right Pole of Freedoms
Pole of Freedoms
The Pole of Freedoms was a centre-right electoral alliance in Italy, launched at the 1994 general election by Silvio Berlusconi.The alliance was composed primarily of Forza Italia and the Lega Nord, but also included Christian Democratic Centre and the Union of the Centre...

 coalition (later becoming the Pole for Freedoms
Pole for Freedoms
The Pole for Freedoms was an electoral alliance of centre-right political parties in Italy, which was active from 1996 to 2001. It included Forza Italia, the National Alliance, Christian Democratic Centre and the United Christian Democrats....

), while the PPI was a founding member of The Olive Tree centre-left coalition in 1996. Today, former Christian Democrats are divided between The People of Freedom
The People of Freedom
The People of Freedom is a centre-right political party in Italy. With the Democratic Party, it is one of the two major parties of the current Italian party system....

, the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats and the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Italy)
The Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Italy, that is the second-largest in the country. The party is led by Pier Luigi Bersani, who was elected in the 2009 leadership election....

.

Popular support

In its early years the party was stronger in Northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

, and especially in eastern Lombardy
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

 and Veneto
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

, due to the strong Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 roots of that areas, than in the South, where the Liberal
Italian Liberal Party
The Italian Liberal Party was a liberal political party in Italy.-Origins:The origins of liberalism in Italy came from the so-called "Historical Right", a parliamentary group formed by Camillo Benso di Cavour in the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia following the 1848 revolution...

 establishment that had governed Italy for decades before the rise of Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 had still a grip on voters, as also the Monarchists
Monarchist National Party
The Monarchist National Party was a political party in Italy founded in 1946, uniting conservatives, liberal conservatives, conservative liberals and nationalists...

 and the Front of the Ordinary Man did. The DC was very weak in Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna
Emilia–Romagna is an administrative region of Northern Italy comprising the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. The capital is Bologna; it has an area of and about 4.4 million inhabitants....

 and Central Italy
Central Italy
Central Italy is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics , a first level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency...

, where the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

 was the dominant political force.

In the 1948 general election
Italian general election, 1948
The Italian elections of 1948 were the second democratic elections with universal suffrage ever held in Italy, taking place after the 1946 elections to the Constituent Assembly, responsible for drawing up a new Italian Constitution...

 the party had its best result ever (48.5% and the absolute majority in the Italian Parliament. The party won 66.8% in eastern Lombardy (73.6% in the Province of Bergamo
Province of Bergamo
The Province of Bergamo is a province in the Lombardy region of Italy. It has a population of 1,098,740 , an area of 2,722.86 square km, and contains 244 comuni...

), 60.5% in Veneto (71.9% in the Province of Vicenza
Province of Vicenza
The Province of Vicenza is a province in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Its capital city is Vicenza.The province has an area of 2,723 km², and a total population of 840,000 . There are 121 comuni in the province...

), 69.6% in Trentino and 57.8% in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Friuli–Venezia Giulia is one of the twenty regions of Italy, and one of five autonomous regions with special statute. The capital is Trieste. It has an area of 7,858 km² and about 1.2 million inhabitants. A natural opening to the sea for many Central European countries, the region is...

, that is to say where the late Italian People's Party had its strongholds. In the Centre-South the DC gained more than 50% of the vote in Lazio (51.9%), Abruzzo
Abruzzo
Abruzzo is a region in Italy, its western border lying less than due east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east...

 (53.7%) and Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

 (50.5%).

From the late 1950s the DC started to move South and by the 1980s it was stronger in the South than in the North, with the exception of Veneto, which remained one of the party's strongholds. In the 1983 general election
Italian general election, 1983
The Italian election of 1983 was held on June 26. The ninth Parliament of republican Italy was selected.The Pentaparty formula, the governative alliance between five centrist parties, caused unexpected problems to the Christian Democracy. The alliance was fixed and universal, extended both to the...

 the party suffered a dramatic decrease in term of votes and its electoral geography was very different from 30 or even 10 years before, as the region where it obtained the best result was Apulia
Apulia
Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy. The region comprises , and...

 (46.0%).

In the 1992 general election
Italian general election, 1992
The Italian general elections of 1992 were held on the 5 April 1992.The 1992 elections were the first without the traditionally second most important political force in Italy, the Italian Communist Party , which had been disbanded in 1991...

 the shift was even more evident as the party was over the 40% mark only in some Southern regions (41.1% in Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

, 44.5 in Basilicata
Basilicata
Basilicata , also known as Lucania, is a region in the south of Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, and Calabria to the south, having one short southwestern coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania in the northwest and Calabria in the southwest, and a...

 and 41.2% in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

), while it barely reached 20-25% of the vote in the North. As a result of the rise of Lega Nord, which was stronger precisely in the traditional Christian Democratic heartlands, the DC was reduced to 21.0% in Piedmont
Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

 (with the League at 16.3%), 32.1% in western Lombardy (League at 25.2%), 31.7% in Veneto (League at 17.3%) and 28.0% in Friuli-Venezia Giulia (League at 17.0%).

As the DC's role was ended, the 1919 PPI strongholds and the DC's traditional heartlands were to become Lega Nord's power base, while the successor parties of the DC continued to be key political actors only in the South, where the clientelistic way of government practised by the Christian Democrats and their allies had left a mark. In the 1996 general election
Italian general election, 1996
An early national general election was held in Italy on 21 April, 1996 to elect members of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic...

 the League gained 7 out of 8 single-seat constituencies in the Province of Bergamo and 5 out of 6 in the Province of Vicenza, winning well over 40%, while the combined score of the three main post-DC parties (the new PPI, the CCD and the CDU
United Christian Democrats
The United Christian Democrats was a Christian democratic party in Italy.-History:It began in 1995 by a split of those members of the Italian People's Party who wanted to enter into an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia...

) was highest in Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

 (22.3%). In the 1996 Sicilian regional election
Sicilian regional election, 1996
The Sicilian regional election of 1996 was held on 16 June 1996.The Sicilian Regional Assembly resulted very fragmented after the election and it was difficult to form a stable governmening coalition. Between 1996 and 2001 the Region was thus government by a succession of short-lived...

 the combined score of those parties was 26.4%.

Controversies

Having ruled Italy for over 40 years with no alternative other than the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

, DC members had ample opportunity to abuse their power, and undoubtedly some did. In the 1960s scandals involved frauds such as huge illegal profits in the administration of banana import quotas, preferential allocation of purposely misprinted (and, therefore, rare) postage stamps. Giovanni Leone
Giovanni Leone
Giovanni Leone was an Italian politician. He was the 38th Prime Minister of Italy from 21 June 1963 to 4 December 1963 and again from 24 June 1968 to 12 December 1968. He also served as the sixth President of the Republic from 1971 to 1978.-Biography:...

 was forced to resign as President of the Italian Republic
President of the Italian Republic
The President of the Italian Republic is the head of state of Italy and, as such, is intended to represent national unity and guarantee that Italian politics comply with the Constitution. The president's term of office lasts for seven years....

 in 1978, after a scandal involving Lockheed aeroplanes. He was later acquitted.

The party was also invested, like the other parties of the Pentapartito, in the Tangentopoli
Tangentopoli
Tangentopoli is a term which was coined to describe pervasive corruption in the Italian political system exposed in the 1992-6 Mani Pulite investigations, as well as the resulting scandal, which led to the collapse of the hitherto dominant Christian Democracy party and its allies.-Popular distrust...

scandals and in the subsequent Mani pulite
Mani pulite
Mani pulite was a nationwide Italian judicial investigation into political corruption held in the 1990s. Mani pulite led to the demise of the so-called First Republic, resulting in the disappearance of many parties. Some politicians and industry leaders committed suicide after their crimes were...

. Moreover, as in the 1970s and the 1980s Southern Italy had become the party's stronghold, it was likely that Mafia and dishonest politicians may try to collaborate. DC was the party most associated with Mafia in the among the public. Leaders such as Antonio Gava
Antonio Gava
Antonio Gava was an Italian politician and member of Christian Democracy...

, Calogero Mannino, Vito Ciancimino
Vito Ciancimino
Vito Ciancimino was an Italian politician who served as mayor of Palermo, Sicily. He belonged to the Christian Democrat party , and was the first Italian politician to be found guilty of Mafia membership...

, Salvo Lima and especially Giulio Andreotti
Giulio Andreotti
Giulio Andreotti is an Italian politician of the now dissolved centrist Christian Democracy party. He served as the 42nd Prime Minister of Italy from 1972 to 1973, from 1976 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1992. He also served as Minister of the Interior , Defense Minister and Foreign Minister and he...

 were perceived by many to belong to a grey zone between simple corruption and mafia business, even if most of them were later acquitted.

Leadership

  • Secretary: Alcide De Gasperi
    Alcide De Gasperi
    Alcide De Gasperi was an Italian statesman and politician and founder of the Christian Democratic Party. From 1945 to 1953 he was the prime minister of eight successive coalition governments. His eight-year rule remains a landmark of political longevity for a leader in modern Italian politics...

     (1944–1946), Attilio Piccioni
    Attilio Piccioni
    Attilio Piccioni was an Italian politician, born in Poggio Bustone.He was a member of the Christian Democracy....

     (1946–1949), Giuseppe Cappi (1949), Paolo Emilio Taviani
    Paolo Emilio Taviani
    Paolo Emilio Taviani was an Italian political leader, economist and historian of the career of Christopher Columbus....

     (1949–1950), Guido Gonella (1950–1953), Alcide De Gasperi
    Alcide De Gasperi
    Alcide De Gasperi was an Italian statesman and politician and founder of the Christian Democratic Party. From 1945 to 1953 he was the prime minister of eight successive coalition governments. His eight-year rule remains a landmark of political longevity for a leader in modern Italian politics...

     (1953–1954), Amintore Fanfani
    Amintore Fanfani
    Amintore Fanfani was an Italian career politician and the 33rd man to serve the office of Prime Minister of the State. He was one of the well-known Italian politicians after the Second World War, and a historical figure of the Christian Democracy .Fanfani and Giovanni Giolitti are still actually...

     (1954–1959), Aldo Moro
    Aldo Moro
    Aldo Moro was an Italian politician and the 39th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976. He was one of Italy's longest-serving post-war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years....

     (1959–1964), Mariano Rumor
    Mariano Rumor
    Mariano Rumor was an Italian politician, a member of the Democrazia Cristiana and the 40th Prime Minister of Italy.He was born in Vicenza, Veneto...

     (1964–1969), Flaminio Piccoli
    Flaminio Piccoli
    frame|Flaminio Piccoli.Flaminio Piccoli was an Italian politician, a member of Christian Democracy ....

     (1969), Arnaldo Forlani
    Arnaldo Forlani
    This article is about the Italian legislator. For the similar name used as an alias by terrorist Ramzi Yousef for Philippine Airlines Flight 434, see Ramzi Yousef....

     (1969–1973), Amintore Fanfani
    Amintore Fanfani
    Amintore Fanfani was an Italian career politician and the 33rd man to serve the office of Prime Minister of the State. He was one of the well-known Italian politicians after the Second World War, and a historical figure of the Christian Democracy .Fanfani and Giovanni Giolitti are still actually...

     (1973–1975), Benigno Zaccagnini
    Benigno Zaccagnini
    Benigno Zaccagnini was an Italian politician and physician.-Political career:Zaccagnini was among the founders of the Democrazia Cristiana , and was elected at the Constituent Assembly and the Chamber of Deputies of the new-born Italian Republic...

     (1975–1980), Flaminio Piccoli
    Flaminio Piccoli
    frame|Flaminio Piccoli.Flaminio Piccoli was an Italian politician, a member of Christian Democracy ....

     (1980–1982), Ciriaco De Mita
    Ciriaco de Mita
    Ciriaco Luigi de Mita is an Italian politician. He served as the 47th Prime Minister of Italy from 1988 to 1989 and is currently Member of the European Parliament.-Biography:De Mita was born in Nusco, in the Avellinese hinterland....

     (1982–1989), Arnaldo Forlani
    Arnaldo Forlani
    This article is about the Italian legislator. For the similar name used as an alias by terrorist Ramzi Yousef for Philippine Airlines Flight 434, see Ramzi Yousef....

     (1989–1992), Mino Martinazzoli (1992–1994)
  • President: Mario Scelba
    Mario Scelba
    Mario Scelba was an Italian Christian Democratic politician who served as the 34th Prime Minister of Italy from February 1954 to July 1955...

     (1965–1969), Benigno Zaccagnini
    Benigno Zaccagnini
    Benigno Zaccagnini was an Italian politician and physician.-Political career:Zaccagnini was among the founders of the Democrazia Cristiana , and was elected at the Constituent Assembly and the Chamber of Deputies of the new-born Italian Republic...

     (1969–1975), Aldo Moro
    Aldo Moro
    Aldo Moro was an Italian politician and the 39th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976. He was one of Italy's longest-serving post-war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years....

     (1975–1978), Flaminio Piccoli
    Flaminio Piccoli
    frame|Flaminio Piccoli.Flaminio Piccoli was an Italian politician, a member of Christian Democracy ....

     (1978–1980), Arnaldo Forlani
    Arnaldo Forlani
    This article is about the Italian legislator. For the similar name used as an alias by terrorist Ramzi Yousef for Philippine Airlines Flight 434, see Ramzi Yousef....

     (1980–1989), Ciriaco De Mita
    Ciriaco de Mita
    Ciriaco Luigi de Mita is an Italian politician. He served as the 47th Prime Minister of Italy from 1988 to 1989 and is currently Member of the European Parliament.-Biography:De Mita was born in Nusco, in the Avellinese hinterland....

     (1989–1992), Rosa Russo Iervolino
    Rosa Russo Iervolino
    Rosa Russo Iervolino is an Italian politician.She is a member of the Democratic Coalition . She was leader of Christian Democratic Women . In 1979 she was senator for Christian Democracy party...

     (1992–1994)

  • Party Leader in the Chamber of Deputies
    Italian Chamber of Deputies
    The Italian Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Parliament of Italy. It has 630 seats, a plurality of which is controlled presently by liberal-conservative party People of Freedom. Twelve deputies represent Italian citizens outside of Italy. Deputies meet in the Palazzo Montecitorio. A...

    : Giovanni Gronchi
    Giovanni Gronchi
    Giovanni Gronchi was a Christian Democratic Italian politician who became the third President of the Italian Republic in 1955, after Luigi Einaudi...

     (1946–1948), Giuseppe Cappi (1948–1949), Giuseppe Spataro
    Giuseppe Spataro
    An important political figure, Giuseppe Spataro, was born in Vasto, on 12 June 1897. His parents, Anna and Alfonso Nasci, were a high-class Italian family, living in the urban center within the province Chieti....

     (1949), Giuseppe Cappi (1950), Giuseppe Bettiol (1950–1953), Aldo Moro
    Aldo Moro
    Aldo Moro was an Italian politician and the 39th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976. He was one of Italy's longest-serving post-war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years....

     (1953–1956), Attilio Piccioni
    Attilio Piccioni
    Attilio Piccioni was an Italian politician, born in Poggio Bustone.He was a member of the Christian Democracy....

     (1956–1958), Luigi Gui
    Luigi Gui
    Luigi Gui was an Italian politician and philosopher.Gui was born in Padua . He graduated in philosophy at The Catholic University in Milan. He was an officer of the Alpini corps of the Italian Army, and fought in USSR during World War II...

     (1958–1962), Benigno Zaccagnini
    Benigno Zaccagnini
    Benigno Zaccagnini was an Italian politician and physician.-Political career:Zaccagnini was among the founders of the Democrazia Cristiana , and was elected at the Constituent Assembly and the Chamber of Deputies of the new-born Italian Republic...

     (1962–1968), Fiorentino Sullo (1968), Giulio Andreotti
    Giulio Andreotti
    Giulio Andreotti is an Italian politician of the now dissolved centrist Christian Democracy party. He served as the 42nd Prime Minister of Italy from 1972 to 1973, from 1976 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1992. He also served as Minister of the Interior , Defense Minister and Foreign Minister and he...

     (1968–1972), Flaminio Piccoli
    Flaminio Piccoli
    frame|Flaminio Piccoli.Flaminio Piccoli was an Italian politician, a member of Christian Democracy ....

     (1972–1978), Giovanni Galloni (1978–1979), Gerardo Bianco (1979–1983), Virginio Rognoni
    Virginio Rognoni
    Virginio Rognoni is an Italian politician, who was a prominent member of Christian Democracy. He was several times Interior Minister, Minister of Defense and Minister of Justice...

     (1983–1986), Mino Martinazzoli (1986–1989), Vincenzo Scotti
    Vincenzo Scotti
    Vincenzo Scotti is an Italian politician and member of Christian Democracy . He was Minister of the Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs.-Biography:...

     (1989–1990), Antonio Gava
    Antonio Gava
    Antonio Gava was an Italian politician and member of Christian Democracy...

     (1990–1992), Gerardo Bianco (1992–1994)

External links


Sources

  • Massimo L. Salvadori, Enciclopedia storica, Zanichelli, Bologna
    Bologna
    Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

     2000
  • Igino Giordani, De Gasperi, il ricostruttore, Cinque Lune, Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

     1955
  • Giulio Andreotti
    Giulio Andreotti
    Giulio Andreotti is an Italian politician of the now dissolved centrist Christian Democracy party. He served as the 42nd Prime Minister of Italy from 1972 to 1973, from 1976 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1992. He also served as Minister of the Interior , Defense Minister and Foreign Minister and he...

    , De Gasperi e il suo tempo, Mondadori, Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

     1956
  • Gianni Baget Bozzo
    Gianni Baget Bozzo
    Gianni Baget Bozzo was an Italian Catholic priest and politician.Baget Bozzo was born in Savona, and graduated in law. At one-time Christian-Democrat activist, in 1984 he was elected at the European Parliament for the Italian Socialist Party and from 1994 he had been a member of Silvio...

    , Il partito cristiano al potere: la DC di De Gasperi e di Dossetti 1945–1954, Vallecchi, Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

     1974
  • Gianni Baget Bozzo
    Gianni Baget Bozzo
    Gianni Baget Bozzo was an Italian Catholic priest and politician.Baget Bozzo was born in Savona, and graduated in law. At one-time Christian-Democrat activist, in 1984 he was elected at the European Parliament for the Italian Socialist Party and from 1994 he had been a member of Silvio...

    ,
    Il partito cristiano e l'apertura a sinistra: la DC di Fanfani e di Moro 1954–1962, Vallecchi, Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

     1977
  • Pietro Scoppola
    Pietro Scoppola
    Pietro Scoppola was an Italian historian, academic and politician. He taught at University of Rome La Sapienza and was senator for Christian Democracy from 1983 to 1987.-Works:...

    , La proposta politica di De Gasperi, Il Mulino, Bologna 1977
  • Nico Perrone
    Nico Perrone
    Nico Perrone is an Italian essayist, historian and journalist. He firstly discovered papers on the plot for killing Enrico Mattei, the Italian state tycoon for oil in the 1950s....

    , Il segno della DC, Dedalo, Bari
    Bari
    Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas...

     2002 ISBN 88-220-6253-1
  • Luciano Radi, La DC da De Gasperi a Fanfani, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli
    Soveria Mannelli
    Soveria Mannelli is a town and comune in the province of Catanzaro, in the Calabria region of southern Italy.-Geography:The town is bordered by Bianchi , Carlopoli, Colosimi, Decollatura, Gimigliano, Pedivigliano.-History:...

    2005
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